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Draft Spotlight - Day 23: Tavon Austin

Posted Apr 15, 2013

We spotlight the former WVU WR, who earned the Paul Hornung Award in 2012

The 2013 NFL Draft Spotlight series continues, as we preview one pro prospect per day, right up until the start of the draft, April 25-27. However, none of the reports in this series are indicative of who the Kansas City Chiefs plan to draft, with any of their currently-owned eight picks.

Day 23 of 32

Tavon Austin didn't waste his time on campus at West Virginia, playing in all 13 games (four starts) as a freshman in 2009.

In 2010, Austin finished second on the team in receptions (58), led the team in receiving yards (787) and had three multiple-receiving TD games.

During his junior year, Tavon earned Big East Special Teams Player of the Year and led the nation in all-purpose yardage, averaging 198 yards per game. He became one of two receivers to have 100 or more catches (101) in Big East Conference history.

Austin bolted into Heisman contention during his senior campaign in 2012, covering 572 all-purpose yards (second most in FBS history) against Oklahoma, which included four catches for 82 yards, 21 carries for 344 yards and two TDs, as well as 146 kick return yards.

His dominating play last season earned him the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player), as well as First-Team All-America accolades as an All-Purpose player.

The former Mountaineer WR later moved on and worked out for NFL scouts, general managers and coaches at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine.


Combine stats:

40-yd dash: (4.34 sec) *
20-yd shuttle: (4.01 sec) *
225-lb Bench Press: (14 reps)
Vertical Jump: (32.0 inches)
Broad Jump: (120.0 inches)

* Top performer in his group

Tavon's senior season included career-highs in:

* Receptions - 114

* Yards - 1289 

* Touchdowns - 12 (receiving)

* Rushing stats - 72 carries for 643 yards and three TDs

* Return yards - 978 and two TDs


STRENGTHS:

ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. likes what he sees in Tavon, saying, "Austin is one of the true home run threats in this draft, and while he's perfect to work in the slot, given his speed, route-running skills and soft hands, this is a player you can get creative with."

NFL Films guru Greg Cosell believes Austin is the "most explosive playmaker" in this year's draft class.

"If the NFL is passing/space league, why is (Austin) not a top-ten pick," Cosell asked rhetorically, via Twitter.

"(He) can align anywhere. Matchup nightmare.While a 5-foot-9, 174-pound receiver is unlikely to go in the first 10 picks, it's quite possible Austin will crack the top 20."


QUESTIONS:

ESPN's NFL DraftTracker graded Austin as average in the "Height-Weight-Speed" category.

"Pint-sized slot-receiver and return specialist prospect. Is short and lean. Short-arms (30') and smaller hands (9.1'). However, has a rare combination of elite top-end speed and quickness."

Name: Tavon Austin
Position: WR
Height: 5'8
Weight: 174
College: West Virginia
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Age: 22


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